April 20, 2010

The Week in review April 12-18 plus one

I have to admit that I didn’t watch a lot of Angels' baseball this past week. Those two 10 a.m. starts in New York conflicted with this thing called a job. Never-the-less, it was nice to know the team managed to go 4-2 on their first road trip of the year.

I’m very encouraged by the performances from the pitching staff and I’m especially pleased that Joe Saunders took a step forward in dismantling some of the projections that have been published about the kind of season some are expecting from him.

The one thing I really can’t understand is the continued “hating” by some fans on Brandon Wood. It’s as if some people really want him to fail. It makes absolutely no sense to me what-so-ever. And if you’re one of those fans who have gone so far as to boo Wood, shame on you.

Brandon Wood succeeding would be a good thing. Having a rock solid third baseman for the next several years would really be a shot in the arm for the organization. In any case, whatever is going to happen is going to happen on the Angels’ terms and not ours (as in us fans).

Face it; there were a great many fans who wanted to see Maicer Izturis start over Erick Aybar (I may have been among them – but my memory is a little foggy, don’t you know) and many continue to pine for a Mike Napoli over Jeff Mathis (again, I know a certain blogger who might have been on this wagon as well). In both cases, Mike Scioscia is showing us all (once again) that he knows best.

So here’s the thing; I trust Scioscia and I take it seriously when he said the following (as reported by the OC Register’s Dan Woike) “He will get an opportunity because we really feel good about his defense,” Scioscia said. “We have some options if we have to take some pressure off him. There is no finite amount of at-bats where we will make a decision and say, ‘This is it.’ Brandon is going to get an opportunity to contribute because we think his bat will play really well in the big leagues. We’ll see moving forward.”

I mean does anyone really see Maicer Izturis as the long term solution at 3B? I like Izturis as much as the next guy, but Wood’s upside is too high for him not to get a legitimate shot. Be patient folks. If you really want something right now and you can’t wait – go to Starbucks for coffee (better yet – support a Long Beach company like It’s a Grind); otherwise, enjoy the ride with Brandon Wood. It could be a lot of fun. And if you play your cards right – you could have bragging rights down the road and be among those of us who believed in Wood. Seriously, there’s plenty of room in the spotlight for this one.

Okay, so last week I gave the True Grich Award to Hideki Matsui. This week that distinction (because there’s no actual trophy) goes to Joe Saunders who edges out both Jered Weaver and Ervin Santana. Saunders went eight strong innings against the Blue Jays without giving up a run, allowing five hits, walking one and striking out 2. It was vintage Saunders. I expect more of this from him all season long.

Even though Monday was part of this week and not last – I have to comment on it just the same; after all, the Angels only played six games last week and not seven like opening week.

How awesome was it that John Lackey tanked on Patriot’s Day in Boston? This was good news on so many levels. First of all, the Tampa Bay Rays swept the Red Sox in four games in Boston for the first time in their club’s history. Secondly, Lackey gave up eight earned runs in just 3.1 innings and saw his ERA blossom to 5.63. All the while, Joel Pineiro combined with Kevin Jepsen and Fernando Rodney to shut out the Detroit Tigers.

The only thing that would have made it a better day is if Johnny Damon had gone hitless. He even threw out a base runner much to the shock of this blogger. Go figure.

I look forward to more days like this.

BallHype: hype it up!

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